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TABLE 5
Threshold Ranges3 for Socioeconomic Variables in the Latin American Region, Circa 1962
Variable
Threshold Range3
1.  Percent population in places over 20,000
2.  Percent of economically active males not in agriculture
3.  Percent literate among males over 15
4.  Percent literate among females over 15
5.  Telephones0
6.  Hospital beds0
7.  Daily newspaper circulation0
8. Female expectation of life at birth (eQ)
16-47 58-63 83-87
74-85 2.8-2.9
3.8-5.3 63-109 59-67
High Natality Countries** in Threshold Range
15 countries
Guyana (63), Venezuela (62)
Costa Rica (85), Guyana (87)
Costa Rica (84), Guyana (75), Jamaica (85)
Panama (2.9), Venezuela (2.9)
Costa Rica (4.5), Guyana (5.3), Jamaica (4.0)
Costa Rica (75), Guyana (80), Jamaica (71), Mexico (109), Panama (89), Venezuela (70)
Costa Rica (65), Guyana (63), Jamaica (67), Mexico (60), Panama (63), Venezuela (65)
aThe range of values for socioeconomic variables at which fertility declines may be expected to occur. See text for explanation of method by which ranges were determined.
Countries with average birth rates above 40 in 1960-64. cPer 1,000 population.
population living in places of over 20,000) to be of any value for prediction. But for the other variables the range was narrow enough to select high fertility countries which as of 1960-64 seemed most eligible for the onset of fertility reduction.
Four countries were in the threshold range for five or more variables (Costa Rica, Guyana, Jamaica and Venezuela), one for four variables (Panama) and one for three variables (Mexico). Of this group Costa Rica and Jamaica have clearly experienced fertility declines since the period of study, both in crude birth rates and in more refined measures of fertility trends. Declines in the birth rate have been reported in Guyana and in Panama (notably in urban areas), but it is too early to state with assurance that these countries have firmly entered the natality transition; a decline in the birth rate has also been recorded for Mexico in very recent years, but, as noted earlier, evaluation of fertility trends in that country and in Venezuela will have to await results of 1970 censuses.at the 0.1 percent level.